We'll post the stories here. Don't reply on them, just make comments on a seperate thread. That way, this one will stay nice and neat. Thanks!
Lauren Elizabeth’s Home Birth Story (Angelmom/Erin)
I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions off and on from about dinnertime on May 15th, 2003. I started to feel them more as the night went on. At about 1am on May 16th, they started to hurt. I was having back pains, which made it hard to rest. I started to time the contractions at 1:22am, and they were 3 minutes apart, then they went to 4, then 10, then back to 5 and even down to 1! They would then go to 7 and even 11 minutes apart. We found out later if I was sitting, they would space out, but standing made them closer and harder. Mom went and picked Meg up at 3:30am. I called my midwife, Leslie, at 4am, but she didn’t return the call within 10 minutes, so I called my backup midwife Jaylene. Leslie did return the call, but she was at another birth and wouldn’t be able to make it. While I was on the phone with her, Jaylene left 2 messages. While I was waiting for Jaylene to come, I got a shower, and that helped with the pain. Jaylene got here around 5:15am. At 5:40am, I was 5 cm dilated. After that, Shawn called his mom to let her know what was happening. At 6am, the contractions got stronger and more regular. At 6:35am, my contractions were 2 to 3 minutes apart and lasting 30 to 60 seconds when I was standing, but would go to 5 to 8 minutes apart when sitting. At 6:40, I got into the shower to help with the pain. It did seem to help, but I had such bad pains in my hips and going down my thighs that I couldn’t stand anymore. At 6:58, I complained that my hips were killing me. At 7:10, my contractions are 2 to 3 minutes apart and 60 seconds long. At 7:20, I was 8cm dilated, so it only took me 1 hr and 40 minutes to go from 5cm to 8cm dilated!!! At, 7:24am, Susan the backup midwife was called. At 7:33am, I had pressure, it was like I had to pee very badly, so I rushed to the bathroom and my water broke as soon as I was seated! I thought that the baby was coming out, so I ran back to the bedroom. It only took 13 minutes to go from 8cm to 10cm dilated. Altogether, I went from 5cm to 10 cm dilated in only 1 hr and 53 minutes. Only 16 minutes and maybe 5 pushes later, Lauren Elizabeth made her entrance into the world. Her Apgar tests were 9 and 10. Giving birth at home was the most amazing, relaxing, comfortable experience I could ever imagine. It allowed Shawn, my mom, my sister and Emily to all be in the room, sharing the experience of Lauren being born.
We had had a couple of false alarms… the most recent on the Sunday before with 6 hours of contractions 5 minutes apart that ultimately just stopped. On the Monday (Sept 29, our due date) I went in to the midwife’s office and the pretty much painless 6 hours had gotten us nearly completely effaced, so we were pretty sure it would be soon. The pressure was on because my mother had already spent 9 days of her 2 weeks with us, and we all really wanted her to be here for the birth.
Tuesday night (1 day “past due”), around 9:10pm, we were sitting watching “Bowling for Columbine” of all things and I felt an almost audible “pop” inside. After my mother’s precipitous labours (she delivered my brother in 12 contractions, me in 6, my sister in 5), we figured we’d better call the midwife even though I hadn’t had any contractions yet to speak of. Got up to discover I was leaking waters, although it was the “constant trickle” effect rather than the “mad gush gotta get the carpets steam cleaned now” kind of water breaking.
By the time I got our student midwife on the phone about 10 minutes later, contractions were starting… not too bad, definitely more intense than they had been on Sunday, but not painful, just, well, unavoidable, and I was having to concentrate and breathe through them. The midwives were to arrive around 10pm and just before 10:00 I decided to go upstairs and wait for them… not only can you not hear the doorbell from our basement TV room, but the TV noise was beginning to drive me crazy.
The midwives arrived as contractions were beginning to feel quite serious. I went upstairs to our bedroom and called my best friend Shawna to let her know that she might want to come on over, and we were planning to have her at the birth too. Cristine (our MW student) checked my dialation shortly after, and said we were at 2cm… that this wasn’t technically “active labour”… But by the time she told me this I’m pretty sure I was well into the active phase. She had checked me and then conferred with Anne Marie (our certified MW), then come to talk to me about what I’d like to do next. I think they were hoping I’d tell them to go home but I could feel that things were moving pretty fast and told her I was scared to for them to leave in case they didn’t make it back in time. She told me they wouldn’t desert me, not to worry about it. She offered to do a “stretch & sweep” but I used the excuse of another contraction to not answer the question, I really didn’t want to be interfered with but at the time was still worrying a bit about wasting other peoples’ time. I got over that very quickly.
That’s the last thing I remember really clearly, after that it’s just snippets. I remember Shawna arriving, and I remember spending most of my labour sitting backward on the toilet (leaning on the tank) with Stephen on one side of me and my mum on the other. I was singing vocal exercises through each contraction, I have to call my voice teacher and let her know that her exercises were a big part of what kept me calm and breathing and my jaw loose through labour. I think she’ll like that. Stephen figured out very quickly to take my robe off me during a contraction, and to put it back on, and a hot pack too, as soon as the contraction was over because I was shivering uncontrollably between contractions. I got in the shower briefly (for about 2 contractions) but I was so cold between contractions that I couldn’t stand to be wet so I got out. For a while I worked on hands & knees on our bed, and it’s around this time that they checked me again and were surprised to find I had hit 5cm. I’m kind of amused that they didn’t expect me to go so fast. I remember Shawna coming into the room around then and I was actually lucid enough to speak to her… “I hope you’re not terribly bored” I said, I kept thinking that this must seem so long to everybody else! She told me I was crazy, that she’d never been so excited in her life. I love that woman. J Shortly after that I was back on the toilet – it was a good place for me because of the constant fluid leak and I found it took all the pressure off my “working parts” and let me really relax with each out-breath. I found I needed to rock my hips a lot, and that really helped too. I remember thinking I must be hitting transition… I had to do a lot of “thought stopping” and kept saying out loud “one at a time, just this one” and “I can do this” over and over again. My family didn’t realize that what was going on was that I was fighting with myself – I’d catch myself wondering how much longer I could do this – which is when I started chanting “just this one,” or find myself doubting that I’d could handle any more – “I can do this.” Cristine checked me again around this time and although I didn’t hear her say it at the time, I had only a lip of cervix left. My hindwaters were still intact, and she told me that the baby just needed to turn slightly and that we could help that by breaking the waters, so despite that I had not intended to have my waters broken artificially it seemed like the right thing to do. The contraction that I went through lying on my back waiting for Cristine to break my waters made me understand why women find labour so painful. It was the only truly “painful” contraction I had – the rest of them were incredibly intense and overwhelming, but pain is the wrong word for them. Pain describes a broken arm or the surgery I had when I was 18, but doesn’t *really* define what I was going through – except for that one 3-peaked contraction I went through lying flat on my back. Man oh man that one was brutal and I was really glad to get upright again! It was back to the toilet with me to let the waters drain a bit, and I had about 3 or 4 more 3-peaked contractions and started feeling a little bit “pushy.” Cristine suggested I go back to all fours on the bed, and that did the trick – as soon as I was in that position there was nothing I could do except let my body do its work. I really feel like I was a bystander in the pushing stage, all I could do was keep supplying oxygen to my muscles and try not to interfere.
The baby crowned in 18 minutes and was out in 20. No tears at all (although for some reason I wasn’t expecting the “ring of fire” around the FRONT, somehow I thought that it would only be my perenium that felt that! Silly me), just a small scrape where he had his hand up next to his face (yup, I pushed out a hand along with the head). I reached down to touch his head as he was crowning and was so amazed to find that it was pointy – I mean, we all know that the head moulds but I think I didn’t really understand until that moment how perfectly engineered this whole process is. I gave everybody a good laugh though, they told me to stop pushing as he crowned and I said “he won’t go back?”… They all laughed and Anne Marie said no you can’t put him back. I couldn’t explain at the time that that’s not what I meant, I was just damned if I was going to lose ground and let him slip back upward again – I was fully prepared to hold him there!!! But anyway the next push came and his head was out. The cord was loosely around his neck, and I was laughing while the rest of his body was born through the loop – I’ve never felt such a physical “relief” in my life, it was incredible! The four seconds that it took for them to pass him to me was an eternity. And I was so thrilled to have him in my hands that Stephen had to ask me to check the gender (the cord was between his legs).
Shawna & Anne Marie had started a batch of muffins and some coffee as I started pushing, thinking it would be a while… Shawna says she had just got them into the oven when she heard her name called in a “serious” kinda way and she got sent to warm blankets in the dryer.
45 minutes later there were six of us on our bed eating hot apple-cinnamon muffins.
Our baby boy stayed nameless for about 4 days… somehow it just didn’t seem very important. He is now Samuel (because we love it) Stephen (for his dad) Guy (to honour my family surname) and will carry Stephen’s surname, Lenser.
He’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
Birth Story of Lewis Harwood Kerr, born 12/26/03, 3:44 pm, 8 lbs 3 oz, 20 inches
Well, the story actually starts on Christmas day (of course). I was a bit tired, owing to DS the elder (Arthur) waking at 5 am full of excitement... we'd finished stockings and presents and were starting on breakfast before it was light. Anyhow, went to my folks at around 10:30 for another round of presents and dinner. My back was bothering me a little, but I had been doing lots of standing... and I had the tiniest bit of pink mucous later in the day, but certainly nothing to write home about. My in-laws had come for dinner at my folks house, they were supposed to pick up my SIL and her two year old at 7:30, but they were kind of tired, so I drove them and
Arthur back to our house while DH went to pick up his sister. DH offered our house to stay at, my in-laws house is about an hour drive away, so everyone came back to our house. My in-laws were on the fold-out couch in the living room, my SIL and her son were in Arthur's room (he's got a full-sized bed), and Arthur was in a sleeping bag in our room. Arthur had a hard time falling asleep, I did some putzing around in the kitchen, so I didn't get to bed until 10:30.
Woke at almost midnight (11:47 according to DH), needing to go to the bathroom. I'd felt a little pop, but thought it was a kick - needless to say, when I stood up, I had a few little gushes. Woke DH, said he should try to move DS before anything else. I was envisioning a five hour labor, and didn't really want DS to wake up in the middle of it. After going to the bathroom, I called my midwife, I wasn't having any contractions yet, so I said I'd try to get some sleep, and I'd call back when things started. I drank some water, and lay down. Had a few contractions 6 minutes apart, but not very strong, and dozed for a few hours. Got up again around 2:30, decided I should eat something, so I heated up some soup and sat quietly in the kitchen. Contractions were 3 minutes apart, but not very strong. I contemplated calling my midwife again, but really didn't want to wake up everyone, so thought I'd try lying down again for a bit. My MIL had woken up on one of DH's attempts to move DS (he kept on waking and coming back in with us), she was a bit shocked, but dutifully went back to sleep.
I dozed again until 5. Felt a little nauseous, and I was thinking my contractions would come back steady like they did at 2:30, so called midwife and said she could come over, but not to rush. She arrived around 5:30, by that time I knew I wasn't in active labor, I apologized for calling too early, she said no bother. Of course her arrival woke the in-laws in the living room - FIL was in a bit of a panic. Midwife checked the heart-tones, they were good. She said she'd run back home for a shower, and to call her when things heated up. SIL and nephew were up by now, and everyone was scurrying to rush out of the house. They didn't believe nothing was imminent, although we did manage to talk them into a cup of coffee before they took off.
I proceeded to do little things here and there for most of the morning. Had a good breakfast, took a shower (contractions were stronger there), frosted the birthday cake with DS (it had been in the freezer), finished punching holes in the grandkids calendars. Midwife called at 10:00 to see what was up, she had a 3 day checkup on a newborn in our neighborhood, she suggested she'd stop by on her way to that, so she came around 10:30, checked heart tones again, and suggested we might want to go for a walk. Actually, I took a little nap first, from 10:45-11:15. This was all so different from DS's birth, where I'd never had a moment to think. With this, I kept on thinking - when is this going to pick up? After my nap, got a call from a friend of DS's asking him to come over. I think I ate a little more soup. My midwife came back, and she stayed while DH took DS over to friend's house. We asked the parents to return him at 2:30, and told my folks to come on over then. Chatted with my midwife for a while, then when DH came back, she went to get herself some lunch while we took our walk. When we got back, I got in the shower, and finally things started getting a little more intense. This was probably around 1:45, this was when I started loosing track of time. Contractions kept getting stronger and closer together in the shower, so I stayed in a long time and tried to work with them. When the water finally got cold, I asked DH to set up a chair in our bedroom backwards with a pillow and pad so he could rub my back. After a few contractions that way, I was starting to get overwhelmed - felt like crying, a little shaky, so I asked DH to page the midwives (they'd stopped back to drop off something with the other newborn, and were to come over right after). They were actually at our door at this point. The baby was so low at this point, my midwife couldn't get the heart-tones without me lying down, so between contractions I made my way to the bed. Heart-tones were good, but contractions were bad here - I never felt contractions were painful with Arthur's birth, but boy was this different. I was having a very hard time keeping it together. I realized lying down wasn't the best option, so I got up and leaned on our radiator. My midwife brought over a hot pack for my back - it felt so good, but I was really having a hard time. I think I probably could have started pushing at this point, but I also felt like I needed to go to the bathroom, and I think that was what was holding me up. After a bit, the heart-tones started to drop during contractions, but bounce right back up after, so my midwife really wanted to check me to see if I could start pushing. I knelt on the bed, didn't feel like I could move much further, but I did take my dress off and threw up (that was actually a relief). So she checked me from behind, said I was complete - apparently this was at 3:35 pm. She asked me to try pushing. DH was in front of me on his knees, I had my hands on his thighs - this was a really good position! I started pushing (TMI, and I knew I was pooping, too, but my midwife was cleaning me up), and I could feel him moving through - it was really painful, but felt really cool at the same time. I thought I'd gotten his head out - I think this must have been his head moving past my cervix - when my midwife said to reach down and feel his head. I didn't really want to deal with it at the time, and started to say something to that effect, but she said "Susan, just reach down", so I did. And I felt the squishy top and the overlapping skull, and pushed some more, while she described slowly seeing his eyebrows, then his eyes, nose, and mouth. I felt an arm pop out (with my hand), and felt his shoulders moving through (with my body), then instinct took over and next thing I knew I was holding him on my chest - my midwife says she had her hand underneath him but never really held him. This was at 3:44. The first thing I said was "here she is!" Then I checked and realized I was wrong! He was a bit purple, and didn't cry right away, but absolutely perfect.
We rubbed him down, got a few squawks out of him. DH went to get DS, who really wanted to see the cord. The placenta came uneventfully a few minutes later. No tears, feeling really well, actually.
Josiah Patrick Biddlecome born June 3, 2002 about 2:30pm 6lbs 15oz 19inches
My Dear baby BOY, Josiah Patrick Biddlecome, You were born Monday June 3rd, 2002, WOW! I thought something might be up when I was having contractions Sunday at church, I only had them at night before. Well, the water broke about 5:30am, I thought I had to go to the bathroom but I couldn't hold it, woke up and the water broke in the toilet, WHEW-
Then I called Daddy, My midwife (Sheri), and my Friend Jessica (who had previously homebirthed as was going to help Shery). I told Daddy that I would call him back but I forgot and went to take a bath. He got scared and called me, I didn't answer the phone so he called the neighbors. Barbara came cover while we waited for Daddy to get off work, contractions were about 10 minutes apart and 20-30 sec long.
Daddy got here later. In the mean time Barbara timed my contractions, and Al (her husband stopped by to make sure everything was ok). Daddy got here about an hour later. Barbara left and came back later. Daddy fixed himself some food and began washing dishes. Barbara came back over and washed the dishes, and timed my contractions which went from 6 min to 3 min apart, lasting about 60 sec each.
I had Daddy call Sheri again, but couldn't reach her. Jessica called and told Daddy she was coming. While I was in the bathroom for the "thousandth" time Sheri the midwife came. I laid on the bed and Daddy worked on helping to relax me, massaging my back and feet, and I tried to relax. We stayed that way for awhile until the contractions were stronger. Then Sheri checked me but had me wait to push because the cervix wasn't entirely over your head yed. This was about 11:30 or so. We eventually moved off the bed, I am not sure when it was. Sheri had brought a birthing stool. I sat on that and pushed with the contractions.
I would feel your head coming a little farther down after a few contractions and pushing. Soon I could feel your head right at the opening. This happened this way for awhile. I woudl break during the contractions and drink juice and water, and rock back and forth with my eyes closed, totally relaxed.
Sheri and Jessica went into the living room for awhile and Daddy stayed with us.
I then felt like I had to go to the bathroom, your head was very far down. Daddy helped me to the toilet. Sheri said I could use the restroom if I promised not to push, and if I "would stop pushing if "I felt the baby coming" I told her ok. And while I was there I felt you coming all of a sudden so I shouted “ The baby’s coming!”
I don’t remember moving but somehow Sheri and Daddy got me from the toilet to the birthing stool. “I don’t know if he is going to come now.” I said. I relaxed for a few seconds till another contraction. This time when I pushed there was great pressure and slight burning. Sheri said if I felt burning to stop so I would not tear. I pushed very hard and your head came out it felt very strange with part of you inside and part of you out. I was worried and said, “Is it out” “Is it ok” And Sheri said the head it’s out. Everything is fine.
I then pushed you out and you felt boney. Daddy caught you and Sheri suctioned you a bit because there was a little meconium staining. You cried out right away and I knew you were ok. They put you on my chest and I held you. I was glad to be done with that and be done being pregnant. I’m so glad to have you! I had a few small contractions then I pushed the placenta out. Daddy cut the umbilical cord. I then went and laid on the bed while Sheri checked me out. She told me I had toren, we didn’t know how bad till later. It is pretty bad, but I don’t want to go get stitches so I am going to let it heal normally on it’s own. It hurts to sit down. Later Daddy measured and weighed you and took pictures, and we called everyone.
*(Added)- I had a 2nd degree tear I think, But it healed just fine. Shery let the baby come without having me hold him there as I had been pushing so long. Looking back on it I pushed because I wanted to not because I felt I had to. Also all the pushing gave Josiah a huge cone head, which freaked hubby out, but he was fine!
DH-Aug 30th 1997 Josiah - 6/3/02 Isaac 7/31/03
Rachel’s birth to
Isaac Wade Biddlecome
Born July 31st 9:40pm
Water broke at 8:26 pm July 31st. Called Midwife Sheri and told her water broke, and that contractions were 10 min apart. She said to call back if anything changed. I told her that every time I talk to her something changes, and she said that she better stay by the phone then. I then called my parents and let them know my water broke, and then my neighbor Barbara to tell her that I might not need her to watch Josiah, she said to call if I needed her. She asked what Lloyd was doing, etc and I told her Lloyd didn’t know yet and was sleeping. She said I should probably wake him so he could call into work, I hadn’t thought of it, so I went into wake him. I said, My water just broke in the toliet, we’re having a baby, you need to get up and put the shower curtain on the bed. He said, ok and rolled over. I went to call Sheri back as my contractions were 3 min apart this was about 8:40, she said she was going to go to the bathroom and come on over. I then called Barbara back and asked if she would watch Isabelle (our dog) so that she wouldn’t bark and wake Josiah up (Our 13month old son). She said sure, so with a towel between my legs I took Isabelle outside and Barbara called her up there. I then went into the bedroom and Lloyd had turned out the light and put his earplug back in (that I had taken out), and was snoring. I woke him again and said, you better get up and get on some clothes Sheri is on her way. He said “What?” I said we’re having a baby get up. So he said, I better call Lynn who is the person at work. And he did, then went into the kitchen. I was then in the bathroom starting trying to stay on top of the contractions. I hollered for Lloyd to get the sheet on the bed. He had been in making coffee. I was so annoyed, I thought what is he doing! Anyway he finally go the shower curtain and sheet on the bed, and I went in there for a few min, trying to relax through the contractions. But it soon got too much and I hollered for Lloyd again, he came and I told him to get me up, he said how, I don’t want to hurt you I said Just lift me up. He had been trying to lift me with my hand, not pulling me up but having me help pull myself up. I then went back into the bathroom, and was in transition as contractions were right on top of each other. Lloyd was standing there and tried to be funny I told him to Shut up. He then left the bathroom and Sheri came in and asked where I was, I said I am so glad you’re here, I was very emotional at this point, but trying not to cry etc. She then asked if I was pushing and I had been, she said get off the toilet. And so Lloyd helped get me off and she cleaned up,I got to the edge of the bed before another contraction. I held onto the side of the bed, and she checked me after it stopped but couldn’t tell, she thought part of my body was the head, but it wasn’t so I checked myself, and told her, then I got up on the bed, and she tried but couldn’t tell as the cervix was way to the back. She said I could push and I did on my side for a min. But after that contraction I got up and onto the birthing stool. Sheri had Lloyd get towels, and he went in search of the nasal aspirator but I didn’t know where it was as I use it with Josiah sometimes, for squirting water, as we are potty training. When he went into Josiah’s room to look for it, it woke Josiah. So he brought Josiah into the bedroom where Sheri and I were. We told him the baby was coming he said yeah I know, but he didn’t realize it was right there. The baby was crowning right then. Sheri had me not push as he was coming so I would not tear, it worked great, NOT ONE TEAR! But it burned and was very hard not to push, his head came out after about two contractions of waiting not to push. Then they eased off a bit, and then one came and she said to push so I pushed and out he came. I sat there just holding the baby. I had Lloyd get me the phone and I called my parents and told them to come over. Another contraction came as I was on the phone, so I said ok gotta go by, and handed the phone to Lloyd who was also holding Josiah (we didn’t want him to get into the blood). and I pushed out the placenta. Sheri checked it and me and there was no tearing as far as she could tell. I said I feel like a bath, so She said well I could check you first or you could take a bath and put on a pad and I could check you then. I chose to take a bath first. Lloyd in the meantime had been playing with Josiah, but he did get to cut the cord, though he didn’t get to catch this baby born at 9:20pm yup only 1hour and 20min!!. And he called Barbara to come play with Josiah. After the bath Sheri checked me and said there were NO TEARS!, though I did have one hemorrhoid the size of a grape that and some swelling was it, so I climbed into bed and nursed the baby.
It wasn’t till August 2nd we decided on the name Isaac Wade Biddlecome.
Updated: Swelling was gone and hemorrhoid was gone after 3days!! I believe in ARNICA
DH-Aug 30th 1997 Josiah - 6/3/02 Isaac 7/31/03
Dec 5, 2003 @ 1:43am
I started having contractions on Monday, December 1. They were about 5 minutes apart the whole day and we were excited that it finally seemed to be “IT”. I was due November 23…so I was READY! The contractions slowed down in the evening so I went to bed and slept until about 8am the next day. As soon as I woke up the contractions started again: five minutes apart and lasting about 30 seconds.
I went to the midwife that morning and allowed the first cervical check: I was 4cm and 90% effaced…we expected me to go SOON and quickly. Hahaha. I had contractions all day long…easy ones though. My sister came over to hang out just in case. I took a bubble bath that night and the contractions slowed again so I went to bed.
I woke up Wednesday morning at 5am to some stronger contractions…still coming at 5 minutes apart. My mom came over that day so get things going…we went to the mall. We walked around the mall for about 3 hours…not buying anything…just walking in the warmth of the mall to get the contractions stronger. Then we came home and walked up and down the stairs of my eleven floor apartment building. The contractions got a little bit stronger…coming every five minutes and lasting about 30-45 seconds. Then, around 10pm they slowed down a little bit to allow me to sleep. I slept until about 4am then got up. I hung out with my mom until 10am when we woke Chris (my husband) up. We had plans to go out for lunch…hehehe, they fell through. Around 11am the contractions started getting REALLY strong. I needed to stop and breath through them instead of walking and talking.
I was supposed to go to a non-stress test and biophysical profile that morning but didn’t go because of the contractions. My midwife called and stressed that I should have gone but when she heard my voice during a contraction she changed her mind and decided to come over and check me.
The midwives arrived around noon. I laboured hard for the next four hours. I needed someone to hang off of during contractions…they were HARD contractions. But, I could get through them. I also made sure that I thanked everyone who volunteered their body for me to hang off of…I knew that it was hard work holding up all 195lbs of me! The best thing was when this one midwife (I had 4 there) pushed on my hips during a contraction!
At around 4:30pm we decided to check me again. I was 5cm and 100%. Not enough progress for my midwife so we decided to break my water. I crawled onto the bed made up for the birth in the spare room and they pulled out the hook used to break water. My mom sat on the bed at my head and they broke it. There was meconium in the very little fluid there. Immediately the midwives left the room to start making plans to move to the hospital. I felt so alone. This moment changed everything that I thought my birth was going to be and the left me alone, dripping amniotic fluid with my pants around my ankles. They didn’t explain the situation…they just left. Finally they came back and told me that we were abandoning a homebirth and moving to hospital. They said it wasn’t an emergency…just a precaution. I was fine then…we knew it was a possibility, especially since this was my first baby.
The car ride was the worst. I made Chris drive SO SLOW!!! Hahaha.
We got to the hospital and into the birthing room. The OB on staff (Dr. Fingers, I named him because he was a huge, black man with enormous fingers!) checked me and I was 7cm now. Too late for drugs. I didn’t want them anyway but it was nice to know they were an option!
They hooked me up to a monitor and started timing contractions. The monitor was really distracting…one of the student midwives would only look at the monitor and wasn’t supporting me, so my mom took me off the monitor and sat me in the bathroom (where the monitor couldn’t go). I laboured on the toilet for a couple of hours. I remember staring at the label on my moms overalls.
Finally, at 10pm on the Thursday I was complete: 10 cm and fully effaced. The baby was in a +2 station. PERFECT! I started pushing in a lying down position on the hospital bed. I PUSHED and PUSHED! I pushed for 3 hours. I changed positions to squatting and side-lying. Side-lying was my favourite. At that point the OB came back into the room (after the 2.5 hour mark the midwives needed an OB consult). Dr. Fingers said, “I’m just going to cut a small episiotomy.”
I YELLED, “NO EPISIOTOMY!!!!!!’.
Hahaha! He let me push for an other 15 minutes but the baby’s heartbeat was dropping. When the baby’s heartrate dropped below 50, Dr. Fingers told me he was going to cut me. He cut one episiotomy and I pushed for another few minutes but nothing happened. So, he cut ANOTHER. I pushed Nolan right out! It was 1:43am on Friday morning then.
There was a neonatal team there waiting for Nolan to be born because they knew that he would have swallowed some of the meconium in the fluid. They needed to make sure he was breathing properly. Dr. Fingers caught Nolan and was ready to hand him over to the team when my mom grabbed Nolan out of Dr. Fingers hands and put him on my tummy so I could see what I worked so hard for! He was beautiful! I don’t even remember his face…just that I got to announce for the first time that it was a boy!
They wisked him away and up to the NICU for suctioning and oxygen. Chris went with Nolan.
It took them 3 hours to fix me up. I had 3rd , almost 4th, degree tears. And I was hemorrhaging. I lost a ton of blood…they were considering a transfusion. They put me on a pitocin drip and gave me a shot of pitocin. They gave me two Tylenol 3’s, a foley catheter and a shot of demoral too. Yay! Drugs! This was worse pain than the labour!
I finally slept around 5:30am. I slept until the next morning. Then, I got to see Nolan around 6pm the next day. He was beautiful and so worth the work and pain.
There isn’t much that I would change about his birth. I had no drugs…that’s what I wanted. He was safe. And we got to attempt a homebirth. But, at the first warning sign we moved to hospital…it went perfectly as planned. I would plan a homebirth again for the next baby…but I would use different midwives.
Nolan was 9lbs 13oz and 22" when he was born.
I have to say though…the labour and delivery wasn’t the hardest part..in fact, it was fun.. The hardest part was not getting to see my baby so long after the birth and the 3 hours they took to stitch me up. That was more painful than my labour and delivery.
Ironically enough, I continued to hemorrhage so they thought that I’d retained a lobe of the placenta (one of the student midwives was checking the placenta but she mangled it so we couldn’t tell if it was all there). So, to determine whether or not there was a piece in there, they gave me an ultrasound. HAHAHA!!! I have my first ultrasound EVER the day after my baby was born. I thought it was funny.
We’re both doing great now! My poor perineum has healed nicely and my hemoglobin is back to normal.
Molly Anne's Birth (our triumphant HBAC)
August 31, 2004 - 8:13PM
7 lb 12 oz
20 3/4 in long
Labor began on August 31st at 3:00am when I woke up with contractions that I couldn't sleep through. I officially began clocking the contractions at 5:00am and that's the time we used as the "official" start of early labor.
According to the midwives' records active labor began at 10:00am. Up until that point we had been laboring downstairs (main floor of the house) but at that point they suggested we might want to go upstairs to the bedrooms (that's also where the bathroom is located).
I continued to labor for quite a few hours - spending nearly all of my time in the baby's room. Paul was my rock and I never would have been able to do it without him. Most of the contractions involved him supporting me - quite literally - as I worked through them.
At about 2pm I hit a point where I was so exhausted I didn't know if I could go on, but my midwife was fabulous and suggested that I try to move around more and she fed me some honey. I walked back and forth between the bathroom, my bedroom and the baby's room and did get another burst of energy.
At about 3:30pm my midwife offered to do an internal exam (the only internal done during the labor phase btw). I went ahead and let her. I was dilated to 7/8cm and about 90% effaced. That information helped really perk me up and, I believe, helped push me on toward stage 2.
At about 5:15pm my midwife sensed that I might be fearful on a subconscious level and suggested a homeopathic remedy. I don't recall what the extract was, but as soon as I took it I ended up getting the urge to push - the unofficial start of stage 2 and the delivery.
I continued to have very strong contractions and was now standing in my bedroom. During contractions I would hold onto my husband and began feeling the urge to bear down and push. This continued for about an hour when my midwife asked if I wanted the birthing stool brought in. Her assistant went to get it from the van and I changed positions and sat in the birthing stool.
During the very first contraction in the birthing stool my water broke (and squirted all over my DH) and at 6:30pm stage 2 officially began. My midwife allowed me to continue to labor in the birthing stool for a while, but noticed during one monitoring that the baby's heart tones were weakening during contractions. She decided to have me use the oxygen mask during contractions. That immediately gave me a burst of more energy and brought the baby's heartrate back up to about 120 during contractions.
At some point (and I don't recall exactly when) the midwives decided we weren't making adequate progress pushing in that position and they suggested we move to the McRobert's position. This involves the mother lying on her back with legs supported by labor assistants and pushed up and open (imagine a crab on its back). My midwife had a length of fabric and she held one end while I pulled the other during contractions. It helped me to gain more momentum with the pushes and allowed me to keep my body relaxed and only use the muscles I needed to push with.
Molly decided to be born with her right hand tucked next to her head. In retrospect we believe that's why stage 2 was so long. Once her head and hand were delivered the other hand and shoulder came out quickly. She quickly opened her eyes and stared directly at my husband! We have a fabulous photo of Molly alert and greeting the world with only her head, arms and torso delivered. She took a moment or two to finish the delivery and in the next contraction her hips loosened and she was born.
The midwives immediately placed her on me and we spent about an hour or so snuggling while I delivered the placenta and we waited for her umbilical cord to finish pulsing before it was cut.
Overall we labored for about 15 hours when you use the 5am starting point as Molly was officially born at 8:13pm.
I had three small tears - two internal and one external - that didn't require stitches.
It was hard work (that's why it's called labor) and not without significant pain, but it was the most exhilarting and empowering experience of my life. I didn't realize until it was over how much of my DS's birth experience had been missed.
The Birth Story of Olivia Anne Archer
I awoke on Thursday May 6, 2005 with mild contractions 8-10 minutes apart and about 45 sec. long. but kind of irregular. I woke up, took my shower, dressed, went grocery shopping and spent the day pre-cooking some meals. I had spoken with my midwife to plan our 40 week appointment and we decided since I had hardly slept in 4 nights between all the illness and rib pain that I'd take an Ambien to help me sleep. Kyle, my husband came home from work and we left to go down to the house we are selling to water the new sod. (this has become a nightly adventure) We headed home (1/2 hour drive) and my contractions had picked up to 5 minutes apart and were demanding a bit of attention. Kyle dropped me at home to crawl into the tub and ran to Walgreens to pick up the prescriptions. He called me from the pharmacy and told me they weren't called in. I called my midwife back and she had fallen asleep with her daughter and forgot - oops! So, I gave her an update and she said she'd call them in. Kyle came home in the mean time as the pharmacy was swamped. My midwife rang me back at about 8:00 and wanted to come over and check me out before I took anything. So she came at 9:00. She watched me labor in the tub. I would get the strangest picture in my mind each time a contraction came. It was a 40's gangster-type man in an old 4 door car driving down a long driveway, pulling around and then driving away again. Weird! I got out of the tub. We listened to the baby through several contraction and babe was responding well. She checked me and I was 90% effaced and 2cm dilated. We decided it was going to be a long night and that the baby would probably come sometime over the weekend - but that to take the Ambien anyway and get some good rest. So I ate something, took the tablet and she left. Kyle and I crawled in bed and I was in excruciating pain in the water bed - so we huddled up on the love seat and slept the night away upright in the living room. I awoke at least ever hour peeing and in significant pain. At about 5:00 am I couldn't take the pain anymore. So we went into the front room where the tub was and I got naked and got in it and hung over the side. The water was such a great relief. Kyle put my music on and lit some candles and I tried to zone out. He rubbed my hands and the back of my neck through the contractions. By 6:15 the spacing was getting tighter together and that car image was gone (I guess the driveway got too short ) The pain was getting worse and I asked Kyle to phone our massage therapist and ask her to come and help - so he did. I started feeling really grunty and an uncontrollable urge to push. I reached down to kind of check myself and felt something soft and squishy. i was worried - definitely NOT head, hands, or feet....and I thought Oh my GOD CORD! I told Kyle to call Cossette (our midwife). he did and she was on her way. Margaret, our massage therapist, arrived and helped Kyle work with me - trying to ease the discomfort. It seemed like forever for Cossette to arrive. I don't remember her coming in. I had my hand inside myself the whole time "feeling" what was going on. She was there and hadn't had a chance to check me when I said. Oh MY... not cord....water bag. It popped in my hand as I was pushing through a contraction. From the point on I was in a zone. I kept my hand there, checking myself continuously. I was on 1 knee and squatting with the other leg, kind of hanging over the edge of the tub. My midwife's assistant arrived - but i don't remember much of it. I felt the baby's head and told everybody and I just tried to focus. I felt the head do the back and forth dance as she made her way down, as I had my hand there the whole time. ( My midwife never did check me.) Then I felt her suck WAY back in and I thought to myself "shoot...now I've got to work her all the way back down again" I felt another pop and figured it was a second bag of waters. Finally the baby began to crown. When the head was half way out I remember saying "I'm on fire!" and I turned over into a crab kind of position. Kyle helped me float by holding me under my left arm and my massage therapist held me under my right. i don't remember anything said by anyone - just feeling like there were angels all around me. The head came out and I remember Cossette telling me to wait for my body to tell me when and how to push. Then I heard her say, "Erika, put your hands back down here and deliver your baby." There was one last push and I felt her shoulders come through and she slid into my hands. What a great feeling as she squishy out! I brought her up to my chest and her eyes were wide open and her face and body were real pink. I noticed her hair right away as I had been curious and thinking about that in early labor a lot. She had just a little hair that was very flat to her head. Cossette said she only had 3-4 inches of cord and she was concerned. They clamped the stump off and the two midwifes checked the baby real good. They were concerned she may be hemorrhaging from the cord and gave her some O2. ( but she was fine) Kyle went by the baby and stroked her and I talked to her from the tub. She was looking all around the whole time and tracking my voice. After she began breathing I asked Kyle..."so, is it a girl or a boy???" we still hadn't looked! He said "I don't know" I said, "well, look I can't see." He announced it was a girl and I immediately asked - "Does she look like an Olivia?" and he said "I think so!" Cossette asked me to check myself for any cord hanging. I felt around in the water and in me and could feel nothing and told her. They helped me out of the tub to the birthing stool. I delivered the placenta and got the shakes. We looked it over and it was all very healthy - but the total cord length was barely 12inches. (I guess the average cord length is 55cm) We figured it must have broken during the delivery and luckily both ends clotted up real well and neither one of us had any bleeding. I had one small stage 1 tear and she put in 2 stitches. I took a warm shower and crawled in bed to nurse the baby and we've been doing great since then! She was born at 8:10am My midwife was at the house till noon. She helped me with nursing and we did the baby exam. Olivia was 7lbs 12oz and 21 inches long. Her first apgar was a 7 and then the second one was a 9. She has no marks on her and started sucking her thumb right away. Cossette also did two loads of laundry before she left! Big yeah there! Kyle and I had lunch and I snoozled in bed with the baby. The tub guy came at 1:00 and cleaned the tub and took it away and the whole house was put back together by 2:00. Kyle had all this energy and he wanted to go cut our grass so he did that and I was calling people from bed. His family was here from out of state by dinner time and the rest is history. We lucked out. Olivia is a peach! She slept from 11:30 till 7:30 am the first night (I won't be able to get away with that once my milk comes) We've been nursing on demand or within 3 hours since then and my milk just came in today (day 4). We're working on positioning and my nipples are a bit sore - but no horrific problems yet! What an adventure. I'd do another homebirth in an instant. The idea of going to the hospital NEVER crossed my mind and I never asked for drugs. Although I would never do it without the deep tub or without all the mobility! The water was definitely my natural version of an epidural. I'll do it again in a heartbeat (but not just yet lol )))) I love my baby soooooooooo much. Thank you for all your support ladies!
*6 weeks postpartum*
My MW and I sat down and compared my birth story to the notes she took. Since she never checked me...she wrote down my statements as we went along and since I remember me and not anybody else present we could pretty accurately establish a time line. In retrospect when i felt Olivia suck way in and then the second pop...that was not a second bag of waters like I had assumed. That was the point where we ran out of cord and broke it on that next push. So we figured out that she was without the ambilical cord for a MINIMUM of 5 minutes and up to 12. Cosette my MW calls Olivia her Miracle baby. She's growing awesome and was 10lbs 8oz at 6 weeks! I thank God each day for giving me the strength to ask questions and make choices. Had i chosen to alter our birth in even the tiniest way, (being at the hospital, drugs, position, people, ect.) I could have ended up with a horendous story to be sharing. I wish more women would just ask WHY? and trust their gut!
I know I haven't posted much here (OK, almost not at all!), but that was largely due to a (thankfully) uneventful pregnancy and then uncertainty as to whether we would birth at home. In the end, the baby decided for us...
Theo Stanley Donald Korchinski
Born at home, 10:25 p.m., May 11.
8 lbs. 14 oz.
21.75 inches long
14 inches head circumference
Duration of birth: 3.5 hours
His birth story:
We did the stereotypical thing and ordered an East Indian meal for dinner, but the curry wasn't very hot (I was too worried about heartburn). We followed up dinner with fresh strawberries and I had my first contraction then. Little thinking anything was imminent, I announced to the table that "something" was finally starting to happen...Well, that was an understatement; before an hour was up, the contractions were so strong they were on top of one another and I remember thinking, "How am I ever going to be able to handle 10 or 12 more hours of this? I had better get that epidural after all!" I told DH to put the car seat in the car and call the midwife. It took the MW a whole half-hour to respond to the page, with me occasionally shouting, "Where the hell is that woman??!" (so much for a serene home birth!). By the time she phoned us back, we had phoned two local hospitals (I was registered at both "just in case") and were making preparations to get in the car. When my midwife finally called, she persuaded me to wait 10 more minutes for her to arrive and check me - she reasoned that I could be 3 cm or I could be 9 cm, in which case she didn't want to have to go out and try to find me somewhere on the road! Well, the woman knew what she was talking about...10 minutes later I felt the most incredible overwhelming push (not urge to push, you understand, I felt like I had nothing to do with it, it just happened whether I wanted to or not!). First my hemorrhoids popped out , then I shouted at DH to take my pants off as my waters broke all over my Turkish rug , then another push and I jumped onto the bed on all fours making the most unearthly noises (like what I imagine a moose in heat might sound like, although I couldn't really say...). At this point, the midwife walked in. She was on her cell phone to her partner (there are supposed to be 2 MW's present by law), saying, "It's too late, don't bother coming, the baby is crowning!" Two more of those amazing full-body pushes and some bellowing from me and his head popped out. He had one hand up by his face, which slowed things down slightly, otherwise the midwife said she never would have made it in time. One more push for the rest of his body and suddenly there was a baby lying under me! The umbilical cord was really short (only about a foot long) so I was just stuck there until they could cut it. It was the most bizarre experience of my life and about a thousand times more amazing than my first birth, which was on my back in hospital with an epidural - not that I would have done that one without the meds, though; there is a world of difference between going through that kind of pain for 3.5 hours and having to endure 12 hours or more when your body has never done it before! I am just so glad I was able to experience birth again in a different way. It was amazingly stress-free recovery-wise, what with being at home amongst family and cuddling the baby the whole time. I was up and about the same night, and almost posted about it but thought that would be a little too obsessive and managed to wait until the next morning (the computer is beside the bed where I had the baby; DH joked that we could have had a web-cam for the May ladies!). Anyway, despite my trepidations and my desire for a little girl, I am relieved to say I am absolutely in love with my new baby boy...And now when I look at his big brother I think, "Who is that GIANT?!?" - even though he's only 22 months old! This time as little bundles really does fly by fast - enjoy every minute, all of you, and a very happy belated mother's day to all!